Minority Report

Candid Conversations on Race, Culture, and Therapy

Asian Honor and Suicide

Because of high emphasis on in-group belonging and affiliation with family and other social networks, dishonoring yourself places Japanese individuals at a risk of losing their place in society. "In this country, it is difficult to live without belonging to a group, and once you fall out there is hardly a chance to go back in," says a suicide-prevention expert. Read More

Slow Sucide

The Japanese people ARE comitting SLOW sucide.
Japan has the lowest birthrate in the world, and 40%
of the males have just given up on sex. They are
called "herb eaters."

Feelings Are Meant To Be Expressed

I am just now learning about the aspects of "Asian Shame" and it is indeed a very interesting topic. I had no idea that Asians are strongly encouraged to avoid causing any feelings of shame. In Western societies, people are encouraged to express their feelings and face them head on. In Western societies, you share your shameful wrongdoings with others in order to be able to get through those dark times in life. Now I see why suicide and depression is so common within Asian cultures. But then again, Western societies are guilty of shaming individuals as well. We have this specific image of what a perfect individual looks and acts like. One slip up of "unacceptable behavior" and you're instantly judged, stereotyped, and ridiculed. The way individuals in Asian societies are forced to keep all of their emotions inside eventually breaks them. They can no longer take the pressure of being "perfect". In a way it saddens me. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone makes poor decisions. It's just part of life. No one should ever be ridiculed for their faults, but instead encouraged to do better for themselves.

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Sam Louie is a therapist with a private practice in Seattle specializing in multicultural issues and sexual addiction.
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